CARRACCI, Annibale
(b. 1560, Bologna, d. 1609, Roma)

Roman River Landscape with Castle and Bridge

1595-1600
Oil on canvas, 73 x 143 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

In Renaissance Italy, Venetian painters such as Giorgione, Titian and Lorenzo Lotto infused fresh life into the pastoral, a genre that had come down from antiquity in written sources. These were scenes of rustic life, shepherds and dairymaids sporting in an Arcadian, i.e. paradisal nature, which were perceived as landscapes charged with a compelling atmosphere. Towards the close of the sixteenth century, foreign painters in Italy and Italians such as Annibale Carracci took up traditions of this type and established what became known as the "ideal landscape." This trend continued with modifications into the seventeenth century, and reached its zenith in the "classical" or "heroic" landscapes of two Frenchmen living in Rome, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain.